The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has proved over the last year their ability to provide the best education to students despite the unprecedented obstacle of COVID-19. The last year certainly has been a year of challenges, simply put. While public school districts in the surrounding area have debated how and when to reopen, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia developed and followed a plan, successfully making the return to a full week of in-person instruction (with a virtual option available) since September.

Check out the full details of what re-opening our Catholic elementary schools here. Schools have practiced social distancing, increased cleaning and sanitation, limiting visitors to the building and more. A centerpiece of the plan entailed putting students into a “cohort.” Students within a cohort are in class together, eat lunch together and don’t interact with students outside of their cohort.

“That allowed us, if there was a child who caught COVID, then we just had to try to do the tracing within that group and we didn’t have to shut the whole school down,” Archdiocesan Superintendent Dr. Andrew McLaughlin said.

If a child within a cohort was exposed to or tested positive for COVID-19, the entire cohort would move to virtual instruction until it was safe to return back for in-person instruction.

Philadelphia Catholic schools have maintained in-person learning thanks to the cooperation of students, parents, faculty and staff at each school respecting and following the plan set out by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Education is a pivotal and foundational piece of each student’s life, a fact the Archdiocese fully understands. Many students across the country are missing out on their education due to the pandemic, but Philadelphia Catholic schools have never missed a beat on keeping students on track in their education path.